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Language and Translation Diploma in Professional Legal Interpreting (Spanish/English)

The Diploma in Professional Legal Interpreting (Spanish/English) is designed to help students to leverage their bicultural/dual-lingual skill sets either to become full-scale professional interpreters or to enhance their preparation for work in any high-need sector such as the criminal justice system.

With nearly one in five Americans identified as speakers of languages other than English, the US legal system is seriously lacking in trained interpreters. From as early as 1978, President Carter’s Court Interpreters Act mandated that all persons linguistically disadvantaged or hearing impaired be provided with certified or otherwise qualified court interpreters in federal court. Since 2000, the Clinton Executive Order 13166, has further stipulated that all public sectors provide full language access to persons of low English proficiency (LEP). In American society today, legal interpreting is not an option but a necessity.

This diploma is a first step toward a rewarding vocation as a much-sought-after interpreter of court and legal matters. As a participant in this program, you will receive a thorough induction into the US system of justice, learning legal terminology, court proceedings, and the ethics of court interpreting. You will undergo rigorous training in the actual work of interpreting, simulating day-to-day client-attorney consultation, public administration, civil litigation, and criminal trial and investigation. You will take part in hands-on practice interpreting between LEP subjects (deponents, litigants, applicants, witnesses) and lawyers/public officials (police, judges, arbitrators, etc.). By performing and observing others perform, you will learn the essentials of the craft, including court proceedings such as pretrial, deposition, discovery, cross-examination, arraignment, sentencing, and summation. As part of the course work, you will produce a personal portfolio composed of a glossary of legal terms, a legal interpreter’s journal, and an audio work sample. The program will culminate with a final exam, which also will serve as preparation for certification with the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) or the NYS Unified Court System.

The Diploma is awarded to students who successfully complete the four required courses within two years.

Note: Students must pass the Diploma’s language fluency assessment exam to be admitted to the program.

For further advisement, please contact the Center for Applied Liberal Arts at sps.cala@nyu.edu.

Must be completed within

2 years

You'll Walk Away With

  • The ability to interpret clearly and accurately between English and Spanish in legal matters or court proceedings between LEP persons, lawyers, and public officials
  • The ability to interpret appropriately and impartially based upon knowledge of the US judiciary system
  • Dramaturgical strategies (staging, cuing, verbal shadowing, note-taking) and stress-management principles for delivering effective moment-to-moment interpreting
  • Knowledge of legal terminology and the practice of keeping this knowledge current in the course of interpreting exacting legalese and richly varied human narratives
  • Best practices in interpreting, based upon the court interpreter's code of ethics and an empathetic perspective on the economic and political disparities that prevail in the US system of justice

Program Curriculum

COURSES THAT GIVE YOU THE SKILLS AND TRAINING YOU NEED TO START YOUR NEW CAREER

REQUIRED

All Courses Required

Fundamentals of Professional Interpreting (Language Neutral)

This language-neutral introductory course sets the groundwork for all future study in the field of professional interpreting.

1 section

Fundamentals of Consecutive and Conference Interpreting (Language Neutral)

Learn about simultaneous and consecutive interpreting techniques and skills, and gain a solid understanding of how they are applied.

Legal Terminology and the Judiciary System (Spanish/English)

Gain an overview of the US judiciary system by exploring a corpus of legal terminology used in day-to-day legal dealings and court proceedings.

Legal Sight Translation and Consecutive Interpreting (Spanish/English)

Receive immersive training in the two essential and most commonly used modes of interpreting: sight translation and consecutive interpreting.

Complete 0

General Admission Requirements

  • Resume
  • Two references
  • Essay
  • A bachelor’s degree or four years of professional experience

  • A passing grade on the Diploma’s language fluency assessment exam

Learn About Instructors

Fundamentals of Professional Interpreting (Language Neutral)

This language-neutral introductory course sets the groundwork for all future study in the field of professional interpreting.

1 section

Fundamentals of Consecutive and Conference Interpreting (Language Neutral)

Learn about simultaneous and consecutive interpreting techniques and skills, and gain a solid understanding of how they are applied.

Legal Terminology and the Judiciary System (Spanish/English)

Gain an overview of the US judiciary system by exploring a corpus of legal terminology used in day-to-day legal dealings and court proceedings.

Legal Sight Translation and Consecutive Interpreting (Spanish/English)

Receive immersive training in the two essential and most commonly used modes of interpreting: sight translation and consecutive interpreting.